Motorists’ affinity with their cars can last for weeks, months and even years, but one man has taken it one step further, after he clocked up more than half a million miles in his Volkswagen Golf.
Roy Dyson, from Ashton Keynes near Swindon, has driven the equivalent of more than 20 times round the world in the car he bought in 2001, but is now trading it in for a newer model.
The 70-year-old and his wife, Doreen, said a tearful farewell to the Mark IV Golf 1.9tdi at Swindon’s Inchcape Volkswagen retailer as they took delivery of a 12-plate Golf GTD.
As Doreen doesn’t drive, Roy, a retired wholesale food supplier, has been behind the wheel for every one of the 507,759 miles, as the car has taken them on journeys to see family in their original home county of Lancashire and near Cirencester, after they moved to Torquay in 1998.
“The Golf has been part of our daily lives for so long that it we’re both very sad to see it go,” said Roy.
“We used to go every two weeks to see one of our sons in Lancashire and Doreen’s Aunty Betty, and our other son in Wiltshire.
“Over time Betty sadly passed away, but we now have three grandchildren who we’ve been able to see grow up thanks to the Volkswagen Golf.
“We’ve not really thought about the miles clocked up doing all the journeys up and down the M6 and M5, but it goes to show Volkswagen engines and cars are made of strong stuff!”
The couple moved to Ashton Keynes in 2012, but the fortnightly trips to Lancashire continue to this day, with Roy and retired teacher Doreen, looking forward to the first one in their new car.
Roy added: “Handing over the keys to the people at Inchcape Volkswagen in Swindon was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but I know the car is going to be in good hands.
“Everyone at Inchcape as been brilliant with us and they’ve helped us choose a new car that will make our family visits equally as pleasant.
“We can’t wait to take it on its first of hopefully many trips to Lancashire and show it off to the family.”
The Golf has a full service history, the first 150,000 with an approved Volkswagen retailer, and since then Roy has carefully serviced the car at a friends’ service centre more local to his home.
Oil and filter changes have been done every 6,000 miles, a cambelt change every 60,000 and apart from a few shock absorbers, two clutches and about 70 tyres, the car has survived the last 12 years without any breakdowns.
Jon Owens, brand manager at Inchcape Volkswagen in Swindon, said: “It’s been a pleasure to deal with Roy and Doreen, and exciting to see a car that has travelled such a distance.
“Everyone at the retailer wishes them both many more happy memories driving in their new car and maybe one day reaching the mileage of their old Golf.”
Volkswagen UK will now be taking the Golf and using it to showcase the engine and build quality, at events, shows and at the head office in Milton Keynes.
A spokesperson said: “Roy and Doreen’s travels in this Volkswagen Golf are an incredible example of the strength and quality of our cars and engines.
“They have taken extremely good care of the car and we’re delighted to be able to now use it.”